Secretly Me
CHAPTER
1
I identify
Identify. This is everywhere. Any paperwork you have to do for almost anything that has the word “gender” with a line next to it, is asking you to identify. Telling you to identify. You don’t have a choice. If you want to fill out this paperwork, you have to fill out all the questions, otherwise you can’t apply for the job, or can’t get into the school. And “gender” isn’t even a question. It’s a demand. A demand for you to invite others to discriminate against you.
“Oh, you can’t have this job because you aren’t a woman.” “Sorry, this job is work for a man.” You went through all the trouble of identifying, just to be shot down.
What is the point of signing your allegiance to an identification- woman or man. To choose, and put your choice on paper, just to face discrimination, and following- rejection. To me, I don’t think this means you even need to identify in the first place.
And paperwork doesn’t seem to understand that identifying isn’t as easy for some people as it is for others. Especially when discrimination is taken to a whole new level. “Gender” is removed, and replaced by the words “male”, and “female”. You are supposed to circle one, signing your allegiance to one or the other. And to make matters even worse, “male” is in blue, and “female” is in pink. This says boys and men like blue, and girls and women like pink. That boys and men are supposed to like blue, and girls and women are supposed to like pink. Those are words of someone who doesn’t follow stereotypes. The first example is of someone who does. A certain gender has to like certain colors, certain activities, look a certain way because other people say so? That makes no sense! And what about the people in between? The people who are male and female, or aren’t either? Do they like pink or blue? Are they weird because they like both? Are they even weirder because they don’t like either? And how do they identify? Do they circle male or female? Do they circle both? Or do they not circle either? Sometimes there is a line for other, but that is saying if you are “other” you aren’t good enough to be directly recognized. The options should be “male”, “female”, “both”, or “does not identify as one”. That is my personal opinion, but I happen to know that this opinion is shared by millions who are in a similar situation, and millions more who aren’t.
And what if you are one, but also the other? Is “transgender” an option on the identification page? I don’t see it there. Identification is easier on paper than it is in person. It’s between a circle and the shocked expression of the person who you are spilling too. That’s why I avoided public places my entire life- at least until this year when my mom signed me up to go to school, and suddenly I was facing both of the options many times over and over and over. Not to mention discrimination and stereotypes.
So yes, I’m transgender.
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